Cranmore Park is home to 5700 hectares of beautiful rich soils ranging from red self-mulching clay through to loamy sands, with the dominant soil type being red-brown loam. The 4200-hectare dryland cropping program is comprised of a mix of wheat, canola, oats, barley, export hay and hay for on-property use.
In addition to traditional crops, clover regeneration is an ongoing project at seeding time.
Soil management and testing
The pH range of soils at Cranmore is from 4.7 7 (CaCl2). An extensive liming program carried out over the past five years has seen an increase in pH, with many paddocks now at the optimum pH of 5.5 (CaCl2). This is an ongoing project to ensure that soils are kept at their productive optimum pH and to protect against the acidification of soils so common in Western Australian cropping zones.
Soil testing is an integral part of both the cropping and pasture program at Cranmore. Soil testing allows measurement of soil nutritional status 'If you can't measure the nutrients, how can you apply them appropriately?' is a question soil testing aims to answer. Soil testing also dictates the need for lime application.
Integrated weed management
The onset of herbicide resistant weed populations in other areas of Western Australia lead to the development of an integrated weed management program at Cranmore to delay herbicide resistance for as long as possible. The Cranmore integrated weed management program includes rotation of in-crop herbicides, use of a 'double knock' pre-seeding, livestock grazing over summer to prevent summer weed seed set, rotation of paddocks into pasture to allow for pasture manipulation and spray topping, cutting hay in problematic weed paddocks and introduction of canola to the rotation which allows for new groups of in-crop herbicides to be used.